Part 4 out of 7
at their feet. All three were barefooted, and they stole noiselessly
across the yard to the seat, which was nearly opposite their
window. Vincent had already fastened his clasp-knife to the end
of the string, and he now threw it over the wall, which was about
twenty feet high.
He had tied a knot at forty feet from the end, and, standing close to
the wall, he drew in the string until the knot was in his hand.
Another two yards, and he knew that the knife was hanging a yard
from the ground against the wall. He now drew it up and down,
hoping that the slight noise the knife made against the wall might
aid Dan in finding it. In two or three minutes he felt a jerk, and
knew that Dan had got it. He fastened the end of the string to the
rope and waited. The rope was gradually drawn up; when it
neared the end he fastened it to the stone seat.
"Now," he said, "up you go, Geary."
The order in which they were to ascend had been settled by lot, as
Geary insisted that Vincent, who had contrived the whole affair,
should be the first to escape; but Vincent declined to accept the
advantage, and the three had accordingly tossed up for precedence.
Geary was quickly over, and lowered himself on the opposite side.
The others followed safely, but not without a good deal of scraping
against the wall, for the smallness of the rope added to the
difficulty of climbing it. However, the noise was so slight that they
had little fear of attracting attention, especially as the sentries
would be standing in their boxes, for the rain was now coming
down pretty briskly. As soon as they were down Vincent seized
Dan by the hand.
"My brave lad," he said, "I owe you my freedom, and I sha'n't
forget it. Now, where are the clothes?"
"Here day are, sah. One is a rough suit, like a workingman's;
another is a black-and-white sort of suit--a check-suit; de oder one
is for you--a clargy's suit, sir. You make very nice young minister,
"All right, Dan!" Vincent said laughing; "give me the minister's
"Then I will be the countryman," Geary said.
There was a little suppressed laughter as they changed their clothes
in the dark; and then, leaving their uniforms by the wall, they
shook hands and started at once in different directions, lest they
might come across some one who would, when the escape was
known, remember four men having passed him in the dark.
"Now, Dan, what is the next move?" Vincent asked as they walked
off. "Have you fixed upon any plan?"
"No special plan, sah, but I have brought a bag; you see I have him
in my hand."
"I suppose that's what you carried the clothes in?"
"No, sir; I carried dem in a bundle. Dis bag has got linen, and
boots, and oder tings for you, sah. What I tink am de best way is
dis. Dar am a train pass trou here at two o'clock and stop at dis
station. Some people always get out. Dar is an hotel just opposite
the station, and some of de passengers most always go there. I
thought the best way for you would be to go outside the station.
Just when the train come in we walk across de road wid the others
and go to hotel. You say you want bedroom for yo'self, and that
your sarvant can sleep in de hall. Den in de morning you get up
and breakfast, and go off by de fust train."
"But then they may send down to look at the passengers starting,
and I should be taken at once."
"De train go out at seven o'clock, sah. I don't expect dey find dat
you have got away before dat."
"No, Dan. We all turn out at seven, and I shall be missed then; but
it will be some little time before the alarm is given, and they find
out how we got away, and send out search-parties. If the train is
anything like punctual we shall be off long before they get to the
"Besides, sah, dar are not many people knows your face, and it not
likely de bery man dat know you come to the station. Lots of oder
places to search, and dey most sure to tink you go right away--not
tink you venture to stop in town till the morning."
"That is so, Dan; and I think your plan is a capital one."
Dan's suggestion was carried out, and at seven o'clock next
morning they ware standing on the platform among a number of
other parsons waiting for the train. Just as the locomotive's whistle
was heard the sound of a cannon boomed out from the direction of
"That means some of the prisoners have escaped," one of the
porters on the platform said. "There have been five or six of them
got away in the last two months, but most of them have been
caught again before they have gone far. You see, to have a chance
at all, they have got to get rid of their uniforms, and as we are all
Unionists about here that ain't an easy job for 'em to manage."
Every one on the platform joined in the conversation, asking which
way the fugitive would be likely to go, whether there were any
cavalry to send after him, what would be done to him if he were
captured, and other questions of the same kind, Vincent joining in
the talk. It was a relief to him when the train drew up, and he and
Dan took their place in it, traveling, however, in different cars.
Once fairly away, Vincent had no fear whatever of being detected,
and could travel where he liked, for outside the prison there were
not ten people who knew his face throughout the Northern States.
It would be difficult for him to make his way down into Virginia
from the North as the whole line of frontier there was occupied by
troops, and patrols were on the watch night and day to prevent
persons from going through the lines. He therefore determined to
go west to St. Louis, and from there work his way down through
Missouri. After two days' railway traveling they reached St. Louis,
a city having a large trade with the South, and containing many
sympathizers with the Confederate cause. Vincent, having now no
fear of detection, went at once to an hotel, and taking up the
newspaper, one of the first paragraphs that met his eye was
"Escape of three Confederate officers from Elmira. Great
excitement was caused on Wednesday at Elmira by the discovery
that three Confederate officers had, during the night, effected their
escape from prison. One of the bars of the window of the ward on
the first floor in which they were, with fifteen other Confederate
officers, confined, had been removed; the screws having been
taken out by a large screw-driver which they left behind them.
They had lowered themselves to the yard, and climbed over the
wall by means of a rope which was found in position in the
morning. The rest of the prisoners professed an entire ignorance
of the affair, and declare that until they found the beds unoccupied
in the morning they knew nothing of the occurrence.
"This is as it may be, but it is certain they must have been aided by
traitors outside the prison, for the rope hung loose on the outside
of the wall, and must have been held by some one there as they
climbed it. The inside end was fastened to a stone seat, and they
were thus enabled to slide down it on the other side. Their
uniforms were found lying at the foot of the wall, and their
accomplice had doubtless disguises ready for them. The
authorities of the prison are unable to account for the manner in
which the turn-screw and rope were passed in to them, or how they
communicated with their friends outside."
Then followed the personal description of each of the fugitives,
and a request that all loyal citizens would be on the look-out for
them, and would at once arrest any suspicious character unable to
give a satisfactory account of himself. As Vincent sat smoking in
the hall of the hotel he heard several present discussing the escape
of the prisoners.
"It does not matter about them one way or the other," one of the
speakers said. "They seem to be mere lads, and whether they
escape or not will not make any difference to any one. The serious
thing is that there must be some traitors among the prison officials,
and that next time, perhaps two or three generals may escape, and
that would be a really serious misfortune."
"We need not reckon that out at present," another smoker said.
"We haven't got three of the rebel generals yet, and as far as things
seem to be going on, we may have to wait some time before we
have. They are pretty well able to take care of themselves, I
"They are good men, some of them, I don't deny," the first speaker
said; "but they might as well give up the game. In the spring we
shall have an army big enough to eat them up."
"So I have heard two or three times before. Scott was going to eat
them up, McClellan was going to eat them up, then Pope was
going to make an end of 'em altogether. Now McClellan is having
a try again, but somehow or other the eating up hasn't come off yet.
It looks to me rather the other way."
There was an angry growl from two or three of those sitting round,
while others uttered a cordial "That's so."
"It seems to me, by the way you put it, that you don't wish to see
this business come to an end."
"That's where you are wrong now. I do wish to see it come to an
end. I don't want to see tens of thousands of men losing their lives
because one portion of these States wants to ride roughshod over
the other. The sooner the North looks this affair squarely in the
face and sees that it has taken up a bigger job than it can carry
through, and agrees to let those who wish to leave it go if they like,
the better for all parties. That's what I think about it."
"I don't call that Union talk," the other said angrily.
"Union or not Union, I mean to talk it, and I want to know who is
going to prevent me?"
The two men rose simultaneously from their chairs, and in a
second the crack of two revolvers sounded. As if they had only
been waiting for the signal, a score of other men leaped up and
sprang at each other. They had, as the altercation grew hotter,
joined in with exclamations of anger or approval, and Vincent saw
that although the Unionists were the majority the party of
sympathizers with the South was a strong one. Having neither
arms nor inclination to join in a broil of this kind he made his
escape into the street the instant hostilities began, and hurried
away from the sound of shouts, oaths, the sharp cracks of pistols,
and the breaking of glass. Ten minutes later he returned. The
hotel was shut up, but an angry mob were assembled round the
door shouting, "Down with the rebels! down with the
Secessionists!" and were keeping up a loud knocking at the door.
Presently a window upstairs opened, and the proprietor put out his
"Gentlemen," ha said, "I can assure you that the persons who were
the cause of this disturbance all left the hotel by the back way as
soon as the affair was over. I have sent for the police
commissioner, and upon his arrival he will be free to search the
house, and to arrest any one concerned in this affair."
The crowd were not satisfied, and renewed their knocking at the
door; but two or three minutes later an officer, with a strong body
of police, arrived on the spot. In a few words he told the crowd to
disperse, promising that the parties concerned in the affair would
be taken in and duly deal with. He than entered the house with
four of his men, leaving the rest to wait. Vincent entered with the
constables, saying that he was staying at the house. The fumes of
gunpowder were still floating about the hall, three bodies were
lying on the floor, and several men were binding up their wounds.
The police-officer inquired into the origin of the broil, and all
present concurred in saying that it arose from some Secessionists
speaking insultingly of the army of the Union.
Search was then made in the hotel, and it was found that eight
persons were missing. One of the killed was a well-known citizen
of the town; he was the speaker on the Union side of the argument.
The other two were strangers, and no one could say which side
they espoused. All those present declared that they themselves
were Union men, and it was supposed that the eight who were
missing were the party who had taken the other side of the
question. The evidence of each was taken down by the police-
officer. Vincent was not questioned, as, having entered with the
constables, it was supposed he was not present at the affair.
In the morning Vincent read in the local paper a highly colored
account of the fray. After giving a large number of wholly
fictitious details of the fray, it went on to say:
"The victims were Cyrus D. Jenkins, a much-esteemed citizen and
a prominent Unionist; the other two were guests at the hotel; one
had registered as P. J. Moore of Vermont, the other James Harvey
of Tennessee. Nothing is as yet known as to the persons whose
rooms were unoccupied, and who had doubtless made their escape
as soon as the affray was over; but the examination of their effects,
which will be made by the police in the morning, will doubtless
furnish a clew by which they will be brought to justice."
Having read this, Vincent looked for the news as to the escape
from Elmira, being anxious to know whether his companions had
been as fortunate as himself in getting clear away. He was startled
by reading the following paragraph: "We are enabled to state that
the police have received a letter stating that one of the officers
who escaped from Elmira prison has adopted the disguise of a
minister, and is traveling through the country with a black servant.
At present the authorities are not disposed to attach much credit to
this letter, and are inclined to believe that it has been sent in order
to put them on a wrong scent. However a watch will doubtless be
kept by the police throughout the country for a person answering to
Accustomed to rise early, Vincent was taking his breakfast almost
alone, only two or three of the other guests having made their
appearance. He finished his meal hastily, and went out to Dan,
who was lounging in front of the hotel.
"Dan, go upstairs at once, pack the bag, bring it down and get out
with it immediately. I will pay the bill. Don't stop to ask questions
Vincent then walked up to the desk at the and of the hall, at which
a clerk was sitting reading the paper. Sincerely hoping that the
man's eye had not fallen on this paragraph, he asked if his account
was made out. As he had fortunately mentioned on the preceding
evening that he should be leaving in the morning, the bill was
ready; and the clerk, scarce looking up from the paper, handed it to
him. Vincent paid him the amount, saying carelessly, "I think I
have plenty of time to catch the train for the east?"
The clerk glanced at the clock.
"Yes, it goes at 8, and you have twenty minutes. It's only five
minutes' walk to the station."
CHAPTER XI. FUGITIVES.
On leaving the hotel Vincent walked a short distance, and then
stopped until Dan came up to him.
"Anyting de matter, sah?"
"Yes, Dan. There is a notice in the paper that the police have
obtained information that I am traveling disguised as a minister,
and have a negro servant with me.."
"Who told dem dat?" Dan asked in surprise.
"We can talk about that presently, Dan; the great thing at present is
to get away from here. The train for the south starts at ten. Give
me the bag, and follow me at a distance. I will get you a ticket for
Nashville, and as you pass me in the station I will hand it to you.
It must not be noticed that we are traveling together. That is the
only clew they have got."
Dan obeyed his instructions. The journey was a long one. The
train was slow and stopped frequently; passengers got in and out at
every station. The morning's news from the various points at
which the respective forces were facing each other was the general
topic of conversation, and Vincent was interested in seeing how
the tone gradually changed as the passengers from St. Louis one by
one left the train and their places were taken by those of the more
southern districts, At first the sentiment expressed had been
violently Northern, and there was no dissent from the general
chorus of hope and expectation that the South were on their last
legs and that the rebellion would shortly be stamped out; but
gradually, as the train approached the State of Tennessee, the
Unionist opinion, although expressed with even greater force and
violence, was by no means universal. Many man read their papers
in silence and took no part whatever in the conversation, but
Vincent could see from the angry glances which they shot at the
speakers that the sentiments uttered were distasteful to them. He
himself had scarcely spoken during the whole journey. He had for
some time devoted himself to the newspaper, and had then
purchased a book from the newsboy who perambulated the cars.
Presently a rough-looking man who had been among the wildest
and most violent in his denunciation of the South said, looking at
"I see by the papers to-day that one of the cursed rebel officers
who gave them the slip at Elmira is traveling in the disguise of a
minister. I guess it's mighty unpleasant to know that even if you
meet a parson in a train like as not he is a rebel in disguise. Now,
mister, may I ask where you have come from and where you are
"You may ask what you like," Vincent said quietly; "but I am
certainly not going to answer impertinent questions."
A hum of approval was heard from several of the passengers.
"If you hadn't got that black coat on," the man said angrily, "I
would put you off the car in no time."
"Black coat or no black coat," Vincent said, "you may find it more
difficult than you think. My profession is a peaceful one; but even
a peaceful man, if assaulted, may defend himself. You say it's
unpleasant to know that if you travel with a man in a black coat he
may be a traitor. It's quite as unpleasant to me to know that if I
travel with a man in a brown one he may be a notorious ruffian,
and may as likely as not have just served his time in a
Two or three of the passengers laughed loudly. The man, starting
up, crossed the car to where Vincent was sitting and laid his hand
roughly on his shoulder.
"You have got to get out!" he said. "No man insults Jim Mullens
"Take your hand off my shoulder," Vincent said quietly, "or you
will be sorry for it."
The man shifted his hold to the collar of Vincent's coat amid cries
of shame from some of the passengers, while the others ware
silent, even those of his own party objecting to an assault upon a
minister. It was only the fact that the fellow was a notorious local
ruffian that prevented their expressing open disapproval of the act.
As the man grasped Vincent's collar with his right hand Vincent
saw his left go under his coat toward the pocket in the back of the
trousers where revolvers were always carried. In an instant he
sprang to his feet, and before the man, who was taken by surprise
at the suddenness of the movement, could steady himself, he
struck him a tremendous blow between the eyes, and at the same
moment, springing at his throat, threw him backward on to the
floor of the carriage. As he fell the man drew out his revolver, but
Vincent grasped his arm and with a sharp twist wrenched the
revolver from his grasp, and leaping up, threw it out of the open
window. The ruffian rose to his feat, for a moment half dazed by
the violence with which ha had fallen, and poured out a string of
imprecations upon Vincent. The latter stood calmly awaiting a
fresh attack. For a moment the ruffian hesitated, and then, goaded
to fury by the taunting laughter of the lookers-on, was about to
spring upon him when he was seized by two or three of the
"I reckon you have made a fool enough of yourself already," one of
them said; "and we are not going to see a minister ill-treated, not if
we know it."
"You need not hold him," Vincent said. "It is not because one
wears a black coat and is adverse to fighting that one is not able to
defend one's self. We all learn the same things at college whether
we are going into the church or any other profession. You can let
him alone if he really wants any more, which I do not believe. I
should be ashamed of myself if I could not punish a ruffian of his
"Let me get at him!" yelled Mullens; and the men who held him,
taking Vincent at his word, released him. He rushed forward, but
was received with another tremendous blow on the mouth. He
paused a moment in his rush, and Vincent, springing forward,
administered another blow upon the same spot, knocking him off
his legs on to the floor. On getting up he gave no sign of a desire
to renew the conflict. His lips were badly cut and the blood was
streaming from his month, and he looked at Vincent with an air of
absolute bewilderment. The latter, seeing that the conflict was
over, quietly resumed his seat; while several of the passengers
came up to him, and, shaking him warmly by the hand,
congratulated him upon having punished his assailant.
"I wish we had a few more ministers of your sort down this way,"
one said. "That's the sort of preaching fellows like this understand.
It was well you got his six-shooter out of his hand, for he would
have used it as sure as fate. He ought to have been lynched long
ago, but since the troubles began these fellows have had all their
own way. But look to yourself when he gets out; he belongs to a
hand who call themselves Unionists, but who are nothing but
plunderers and robbers. If you take my advice, when you get to the
end of your journey you will not leave the station, but take a ticket
straight back north. I tell you your life won't be safe five minutes
when you once get outside the town. They daren't do anything
there, for though folks have had to put up with a good deal they
wouldn't stand the shooting of a minister; still, outside the town I
would not answer for your life for an hour."
"I have my duties to perform," Vincent said, "and I shall certainly
carry them through; but I am obliged to you for your advice I can
quite understand that ruffian," and he looked at Mullens, who, with
his handkerchief to his mouth, was sitting alone in a corner--for the
rest had all drawn away from him in disgust--and glaring ferociously
at him, "will revenge himself if he has the opportunity. However as
far as possible I shall be on my guard."
"At any rate," the man said, "I should advise you when you get to
Nashville to charge him with assault. We can all testify that he
laid hands on you first. That way he will get locked up for some
days anyhow, and you can go away about your business, and he
won't know where to find you when he gets out."
"Thank you--that would be a very good plan; but I might lose a day
or two in having to appear against him; I am pressed for time and
have some important business on hand and I have no doubt I shall
be able to throw him off my track, finish my business, and be off
again before he can come across me."
"Well, I hope no harm will come of it," the other said. "I like you,
and I never saw any one hit so quickly and so hard. It's a
downright pity you are a preacher. My name's John Morrison, and
my farm is ten miles from Nashville, on the Cumberland River. If
you should be going in that direction I should be right glad if you
would drop in on me."
The real reason that decided Vincent against following the advice
to give his assailant in charge was that he feared he himself might
be questioned as to the object of his journey and his destination.
The fellow would not improbably say that he believed he was the
Confederate officer who was trying to escape in the disguise of a
clergyman and that he had therefore tried to arrest him. He could
of course give no grounds for the accusation, still questions might
be asked which would be impossible for him to answer; and,
however plausible a story he might invent, the lawyer whom the
fellow would doubtless employ to defend him might suggest that
the truth of his statements might be easily tested by the despatch of
a telegram, in which case he would be placed in a most awkward
situation. It was better to run the risk of trouble with the fellow
and his gang than to do anything which might lead to inquiries as
to his identity.
When the train reached Nashville, Vincent proceeded to an hotel.
It was already late in the afternoon, for the journey had occupied
more than thirty hours. As soon as it was dark he went out again
and joined Dan, whom he had ordered to follow him at a distance
and to be at the corner of the first turning to the right of the hotel
as soon as it became dark. Dan was at the point agreed upon, and
he followed Vincent until the latter stopped in a quiet and badly
"Things are going badly, Dan. I had a row with a ruffian in the
train, and he has got friends here, and this will add greatly to our
danger in getting to our lines. I must get another disguise. What
money have you left?"
"Not a cent, sah. I had only a five-cent piece left when we left St.
Louis, and I spent him on bread on de journey."
"That is bad, Dan. I did not think your stock was so nearly
"I had to keep myself, sah, and to pay for de railroad, and to buy
dem tree suits of clothes, and to make de nigger I lodged with a
present to keep him mouth shut."
"Oh, I know you have had lots of expenses, Dan, and I am sure that
you have not wasted your money; but I had not thought about it. I
have only got ten dollars left, and we may have a hundred and fifty
miles to travel before we are safe. Anyhow, you must get another
disguise, and trust to luck for the rest. We have tramped a hundred
and fifty miles before now without having anything beyond what
we could pick up on the road. Here's the money. Get a rough suit
of workingman's clothes, and join me here again in an hour's time.
Let us find out the name of the street before we separate, for we
may miss our way and not be able to meet again."
Passing up into the busy streets, Vincent presently stopped and
purchased a paper of a newsboy who was running along shouting,
"News from the war. Defeat of the rebels. Fight in a railway car
near Nashville; a minister punishes a border ruffian."
"Confound those newspaper fellows!" Vincent muttered to himself
as he walked away. "They pick up every scrap of news. I suppose
a reporter got hold of some one who was in the car." Turning
down a quiet street, he opened the paper and by the light of the
lamp read a graphic and minute account of the struggle in the
"I won't go back to the hotel," he said to himself. "I shall be
having reporters to interview me. I shall be expected to give them
a history of my whole life; where I was born, and where I went to
school, and whether I prefer beef to mutton, and whether I drink
beer, and a thousand other things. No; the sooner I am away the
better. As to the hotel, I have only had one meal, and they have
got the bag with what clothes there are; that will pay them well."
Accordingly when he rejoined Dan he told him that they would
start at once.
"It is the best way, anyhow," he said. "To-morrow, no doubt, the
fellow I had the row with will be watching the hotel to see which
way I go off, but after once seeing me go to the hotel he will not
guess that I shall be starting this evening. What have you got left,
"I got two dollars, sah."
"That makes us quite rich men. We will stop at the first shop we
come to and lay in a stock of bread and a pound or two of ham."
"And a bottle of rum, sah. Berry wet and cold sleeping out of doors
now, sah. Want a little comfort anyhow."
"Very well, Dan; I think we can afford that."
"Get one for half a dollar, massa. Could not lay out half a dollar
Half an hour later they had left Nashville behind them, and were
tramping along the road toward the east, Dan carrying a bundle in
which the provisions were wrapped, and the neck of the bottle of
rum sticking out of his pocket. As soon as they were well in the
country Vincent changed his clothes for those Dan had just bought
him, and making the others up into a bundle continued his way.
"Why you not leave dem black clothes behind, sah? What good
take dem wid you?"
"I am not going to carry them far, Dan. The first wood or thick
clump of bushes we come to I shall hide them away; but if you
were to leave them here they would be found the first thing in the
morning, and perhaps be carried into the town and handed over to
the police, and they might put that and the fact of my not having
returned to the hotel--which is sure to be talked about--together, and
come to the conclusion that either Mullens was right and that I was
an escaped Confederate, or that I had been murdered by Mullens.
In either case they might get up a search, and perhaps send
telegrams to the troops in the towns beyond us. Anyhow, it's best
the clothes should not be found."
All night they tramped along, pausing only for half an hour about
midnight, when Dan suggested that as he had only had some bread
to eat--and not too much of that--during the last forty-eight hours, he
thought that he could do with some supper. Accordingly the
bundle was opened, and they sat down and partook of a hearty
meal. Dan had wisely taken the precaution of having the cork
drawn from the bottle when he bought it, replacing it so that it
could be easily extracted when required, and Vincent
acknowledged that the spirit was a not unwelcome addition to the
meal. When morning broke they had reached Duck's River, a
broad stream crossing the road.
Here they drew aside into a thick grove, and determined to get a
few hours' sleep before proceeding. It was nearly midday before
they woke and proceeded to the edge of the trees. Vincent
reconnoitered the position.
"It is just as well we did not try to cross, Dan. I see the tents of at
least a regiment on the other bank. No doubt they are stationed
there to guard the road and railway bridge. This part of the
country is pretty equally divided in opinion, though more of the
people are for the South than for the North; but I know there are
guerrilla parties on both sides moving about, and if a Confederate
band was to pounce down on these bridges and destroy them it
would cut the communication with their army in front, and put
them in a very ugly position if they were defeated. No doubt that's
why they have stationed that regiment there. Anyhow, it makes it
awkward for us. We should be sure to be questioned where we are
going, and as I know nothing whatever of the geography of the
place we should find it very difficult to satisfy them. We must
cross the river somewhere else. There are sure to be some boats
somewhere along the banks; at any rate, the first thing to do is to
move further away from the road."
They walked for two or three miles across the country. The fields
for the most part were deserted, and although here and there they
saw cultivated patches, it was evident that most of the inhabitants
had quitted that part of the country, which had been the scene of
almost continued fighting from the commencement of the war; the
sufferings of the inhabitants being greatly heightened by the bands
of marauders who moved about plundering and destroying under
the pretense of punishing those whom they considered hostile to
the cause in whose favor--nominally, at least--they had enrolled
themselves. The sight of ruined farms and burned houses roused
Vincent's indignation; for in Virginia private property had, up to
the time of Pope's assuming command of the army, been respected,
and this phase of civil war was new and very painful to him.
"It would he a good thing," he said to Dan, "if the generals on both
sides in this district would agree to a month's truce, and join each
other in hunting down and hanging these marauding scoundrels.
On our side Mosby and a few other leaders of bands composed
almost entirely of gentlemen, have never been accused of practices
of this kind; but, with these exceptions, there is little to choose
After walking for four or five miles they again sat down till
evening, and then going down to the river endeavored to find a
boat by which they could cross, but to their disappointment no
craft of any kind was visible, although in many places there were
stages by the riverside, evidently used by farmers for unloading
their produce into boats. Vincent concluded at last that at some
period of the struggle all the boats must have been collected and
either sunk or carried away by one of the parties to prevent the
other crossing the river.
Hitherto they had carefully avoided all the farmhouses that
appeared to be inhabited; but Vincent now determined to approach
one of them and endeavor to gain some information as to the
distance from the next bridge, and whether it was guarded by
troops, and to find out if possible the position in which the
Northern forces in Tennessee were at present posted--all of which
points he was at present ignorant of. He passed two or three large
farmhouses without entering, for although the greater part of the
male population were away with one or other of the armies, he
might still find two or three hands in such buildings. Besides, it
was now late, and whatever the politics of the inmates they would
be suspicious of such late arrivals, and would probably altogether
refuse them admittance. Accordingly another night was spent in
The next morning, after walking a mile or two, they saw a house at
which Vincent determined to try their fortune. It was small, but
seemed to have belonged to people above the class of farmer. It
stood in a little plantation, and was surrounded by a veranda. Most
of the blinds were down, and Vincent judged that the inmates
could not be numerous.
"You remain here, Dan, and I will go and knock at the door. It is
better that we should not be seen together." Vincent accordingly
went forward and knocked at the door. An old negress opened it.
"We have nothing for tramps," she said. "De house am pretty well
cleared out ob eberyting." She was about to shut the door when
Vincent put his foot forward and prevented it closing. "Massa
Charles," the negress called out, "bring yo' shot-gun quick; here am
tief want to break into the house."
"I am neither a thief nor a tramp," Vincent said; "and I do not want
anything, except that I should be glad to buy a loaf of bread if you
have one that you could spare. I have lost my way, and I want to
"Dat am pretty likely story," the old woman said. "Bring up dat
shot-gun quick, Massa Charles."
"What is it, Chloe?" another female voice asked.
"Here am a man pretend he hab lost his way and wants to buy a
loaf. You stand back, Miss Lucy, and let your broder shoot de
"I can assure you that I am not a robber, madam," Vincent said
through the partly opened door. "I am alone, and only beg some
information, which I doubt not you can give me."
"Open the door, Chloe," the second voice said inside; "that is not
the voice of a robber."
The old woman reluctantly obeyed the order and opened the door,
and Vincent saw in the passage a young girl of some sixteen years
old. He took off his hat.
"I am very sorry to disturb you," he said; "but I am an entire
stranger here, and am most desirous of crossing the river, but can
find no boat with which to do so."
"Why did you not cross by the bridge?" the girl asked. "How did
you miss the straight road?"
"Frankly, because there were Northern troops there," Vincent said,
"and I wish to avoid them if possible."
"You are a Confederate?" the girl asked, when the old negress
"Hush! Miss Lucy, don't you talk about dem tings; der plenty of
mischief done already. What hab you to do wid one side or do
The girl paid no attention to her words, but stood awaiting
Vincent's answer. He did not hesitate. There was something in
her face that told him that, friend or foe, she was not likely to
betray a fugitive, and he answered:
"I am a Confederate officer, madam. I have made my escape from
Elmira prison, and am trying to find my way back into our lines."
"Come in, sir," the girl said, holding out her hand. "We are
Secessionists, heart and soul. My father and my brother are with
our troops--that is, if they are both alive. I have little to offer you,
for the Yankee bands have been here several times, have driven off
our cattle, emptied our barns, and even robbed our hen-nests, and
taken everything in the house they thought worth carrying away.
But whatever there is, sir, you are heartily welcome to. I had a
paper yesterday--it is not often I get one--and I saw there that three
of our officers had escaped from Elmira. Are you one of them?"
"Yes, madam. I am Lieutenant Wingfield."
"Ah! then you are in the cavalry. You have fought under Stuart,"
the girl said. "The paper said so. Oh, how I wish we had Stuart
and Stonewall Jackson on this side! we should soon drive the
Yankees out of Tennessee."
"They would try to, anyhow," Vincent said, smiling, "and if it were
possible they would assuredly do it. I was in Ashley's horse with
the Stonewall division through the first campaign in the
Shenandoah Valley and up to Bull Run, and after that under Stuart.
But is not your brother here? Your servant called to him."
"There is no one here but ourselves," the girl replied. "That was a
fiction of Chloe's, and it has succeeded sometimes when we have
had rough visitors. And now what can I do for you, sir? You said
you wanted to buy a loaf of bread, and therefore, I suppose, you
are hungry. Chloe, put the bacon and bread on the table, and make
some coffee. I am afraid that is all we can do, sir, but such as it is
you are heartily welcome to it."
"I thank you greatly," Vincent replied, "and will, if you will allow
me, take half my breakfast out to my boy who is waiting over
"Why did you not bring him in?" the girl asked. "Of course he will
be welcome too."
"I did not bring him in before because two men in these days are
likely to alarm a lonely household; and I would rather not bring
him in now, because, if by any possibility the searchers, who are
no doubt after me, should call and ask you whether two men, one a
white and the other a negro, had been here, you could answer no."
"But they cannot be troubling much about prisoners," the girl said.
"Why, in the fighting here and in Missouri they have taken many
thousands of prisoners, and you have taken still more of them in
Virginia; surely they cannot trouble themselves much about one
"I am not afraid of a search of that kind," Vincent said; "but,
unfortunately, on my way down I had a row in the train with a
ruffian named Mullens, who is, I understand, connected with one
of these bands of brigands, and I feel sure that he will hunt me
down if he can."
The girl turned pale.
"Oh!" she said, "I saw that in the paper too, but it said that it was a
minister. And it was you who beat that man and threw his revolver
out of the window? Oh, then, you are in danger indeed, sir. He is
one of the worst ruffians in the State, and is the leader of the party
who stripped this house and threatened to burn it to the ground.
Luckily I was not at home, having gone away to spend the night
with a neighbor. His band have committed murders all over the
country, hanging up defenseless people on pretense that they were
Secessionists. They will show you no mercy if they catch you."
"No. I should not expect any great mercy if I fell into their hands,
Miss Lucy. I don't know your other name."
"My name is Kingston. I ought to have introduced myself to you at
"Now you understand, Miss Kingston, how anxious I am to get
across the river, and that brings me to the question of the
information I want you to give me. How far is it from the next
bridge on the south, and are there any Federal troops there?"
"It is about seven miles to the bridge at William sport, we are just
halfway between that and the railway bridge at Columbus. Yes,
there are certainly troops there--"
"Then I see no way for it but to make a small raft to carry us
across, Miss Kingston. I am a good swimmer, but the river is full
and of considerable width; still, I think I can get across. But my
boy cannot swim a stroke."
"I know where there is a boat hid in the wood near the river," the
girl said. "It belongs to a neighbor of ours, and when the Yankees
seized the boats he had his hauled up and hidden in the woods. He
was a Southerner, heart and soul, and thought that he might be able
sometimes to take useful information across the river to our
people; but a few weeks afterward his house was attacked by one
of these bands--it was always said it was that of Mullens--and he
was killed defending it to the last. He killed several of the band
before he fell, and they were so enraged that after plundering it
they set it on fire and fastened the door, and his wife and two
maid-servants were burned to death."
"I wish instead of throwing his pistol out of the window I had
blown his brains out with it," Vincent said; "and I would have done
so if I had known what sort of fellow he was. However, as to the
boat, can you give me instructions where to find it, and is it light
enough for two men to carry?"
"Not to carry, perhaps, but to push along. It is a light boat he had
for pleasure. He had a large one, but that was carried away with
the others. I cannot give you directions, but I can lead you to the
"I should not like you to do that," Vincent said. "We might he
caught, and your share in the affair might be suspected."
"Oh! there is no fear of that," the girl said; "besides, I am not afraid
"I don't think it is right, Miss Kingston, for a young lady like you to
be living here alone with an old servant in such times as these.
You ought to go into a town until it's all over."
"I have no one to go to," the girl said simply. "My father bought
this place and moved here from Georgia only six years ago, and all
my friends are in that State. Except our neighbors round here I do
not know a soul in Tennessee. Besides, what can I do in a town?
We can manage here, because we have a few fowls, and some of
our neighbors last spring plowed an acre or two of ground and
planted corn for us, and I have a little money left for buying other
things; but it would not last us a month if we went into a town.
No, I have nothing to do but to stay here until you drive the
Yankees back. I will willingly take you down to the boat to-night.
Chloe can come with us and keep me company on the way back.
Of course it would not be safe to cross in the daytime."
"I thank you greatly, Miss Kingston, and shall always remember
your kindness. Now, when I finish my meal I will go out and join
my boy, and will come for you at eight o'clock; it will be quite
"Why should you not stay here till then, Mr. Wingfield? It is very
unlikely that any one will come along."
"It is unlikely, but it is quite possible," Vincent replied, "and were I
caught here by Mullens, the consequence would be very serious to
you as well as to myself. No, I could not think of doing that. I will
go out, and come back at eight o'clock. I shall not be far away; but
if any one should come and inquire, you can honestly say that you
do not know where I am."
"I have two revolvers here, sir; in fact I have three. I always keep
one loaded, for there is never any saying whether it may not be
wanted; the other two I picked up last spring. There was a fight
about a quarter of a mile from here and after it was over and they
had moved away, for the Confederates won that time and chased
them back toward Nashville, I went out with Chloe with some
water and bandages to see if we could do anything for the
wounded. We were at work there till evening, and I think we did
some good. As we were coming back I saw something in a low
bush, and going there found a Yankee officer and his horse both
lying dead; they had been killed by a shell, I should think.
Stooping over to see if he was quite dead I saw a revolver in his
belt and another in the holster of his saddle, so I took them out and
brought them home, thinking I might give them to some of our
men, for we were then, as we have always been, very short of
arms; but I never had an opportunity of giving them away, and I
am very glad now that I have not. Here they are, sir, and two
packets of cartridges, for they are of the same size as those of the
pistol my father gave me when he went away. You are heartily
welcome to them."
"Thank you extremely," Vincent said, as he took the pistols and
placed the packets of ammunition in his pocket. "We cut two
heavy sticks the night we left Nashville so as to be able to make
something of a fight; but with these weapons we shall feel a match
for any small parties we may meet. Then at eight o'clock I will
come back again."
"I shall be ready," the girl said; "but I wish you would have
stopped, there are so many things I want to ask you about, and
these Yankee papers, which are all we see now, are full of lies."
"They exaggerate their successes and to some extent conceal their
defeats," Vincent said; "but I do not think it is the fault of the
newspapers, whose correspondents do seem to me to try and tell
the truth to their readers, but of the official despatches of the
generals. The newspapers tone matters down, no doubt, because
they consider it necessary to keep up the public spirit; but at times
they speak out pretty strongly too. I am quite as sorry to leave as
you can be that I should go, Miss Kingston, but I am quite sure that
it is very much the wisest thing for me to do. By the way, if I
should not be here by half-past eight I shall not come at all, and
you will know that something has occurred to alter our plans. I
trust there is no chance of anything doing so, but it is as well to
arrange so that you should not sit up expecting me. Should I not
come back you will know that I shall be always grateful to you for
your kindness, and that when this war is over, if I am alive, I will
come back and thank you personally."
"Good-by till this evening!" the girl said. "I will not even let
myself think that anything can occur to prevent your return."
"Golly, Massa Vincent, what a time you hab been!" Dan said when
Vincent rejoined him. "Dis child began to tink dat somefing had
gone wrong, and was going in anoder five minutes to knock at do
door to ask what dey had done to you."
"It is all right, Dan, I have had breakfast, and have brought some
for you; here is some bread and bacon and a bottle of coffee."
"Dat good, massa; my teeth go chatter chatter wid sleeping in dese
damp woods; dat coffee do me good, sah. After dat I shall feel fit
CHAPTER XII. THE BUSHWHACKERS.
"By the way, Dan," Vincent said when the negro had finished his
meal, "we have not talked over that matter of my clothes. I can't
imagine how that letter saying that one of us was disguised as a
minister and would have a negro servant came to be written. Did
you ever tell the people you lodged with anything about the
"No, sah, neber said one word to dem about it; dey know nothing
whatsoeber. De way me do wid your letter was dis. Me go outside
town and wait for long time. At last saw black follow coming
along. Me say to him, 'Can you read?' and he said as he could. I
said 'I got a letter, I want to read him, I gib you a quarter to read
him to me;' so he said yes, and he read de letter. He a long time of
making it out, because he read print but not read writing well. He
spell it out word by word, but I don't tink he understand dat it
come from prison, only dat it come from some one who wanted
some rope and a turn-screw. Me do just de same way wid de
second letter. As for de clothes, me buy dem dat day, make dem
up in bundle, and not go back to lodging at all. Me not know how
any one could know dat I buy dat minister clothes for you, sah.
Me told de storekeeper dat dey was for cousin of mine, who preach
to de colored folk, and dat I send him suit as present. Onless dat
man follow me and watch me all de time till we go off together,
sah, me no see how de debbil he guess about it."
"That's quite impossible, Dan; it never could have been that way.
It is very strange, for it would really seem that no one but you and I
and the other two officers could possibly know about it."
"Perhaps one of dem want to do you bad turn, massa, and write so
as to get you caught and shut up again."
Vincent started at the suggestion. Was it possible that Jackson
could have done him this bad turn after his having aided him to
make his escape It would be a villainous trick; but then he had
always thought him capable of villainous tricks, and it was only
the fact that they were thrown together in prison that had induced
him to make up his quarrel with him; but though Jackson had
accepted his advances, it was probable enough that he had retained
his bad feeling against him, and had determined, if possible, to
have his revenge on the first opportunity.
"The scoundrel," he said to himself, "after my getting him free, to
inform against me! Of course I have no proof of it, but I have not
the least doubt that it was him. If we ever meet again, Mr. Jackson,
I will have it out with you."
"You got two pistols, sah," Dan said presently. "How you get
"The lady of that house gave them to me, Dan; they are one for you
and one for me."
"Dis chile no want him, sah; not know what to do wid him. Go off
and shoot myself, for sure."
"Well, I don't suppose you would do much good with it, Dan. As I
am a good shot, perhaps I had better keep them both. You might
load them for me as I fire them."
"Berry well, sah; you show me how to load, me load."
Vincent showed Dan how to extricate the discharged cartridge-
cases and to put in fresh ones, and after a quarter of an hour's
practice Dan was able to do this with some speed.
"When we going on, sah?" he said as, having learned the lesson, he
handed the pistol back to Vincent.
"We are not going on until the evening, Dan. When it gets dark
the lady is going to take us to a place where there is a boat hidden,
and we shall then be able to cross the river."
"Den I will hab a sleep, sah. Noting like sleeping when there is a
"I believe you could sleep three-quarters of your time, Dan.
However, you may as well sleep now if you can, for there will be
nothing to do till night."
Vincent went back to the edge of the wood, and sat down where he
could command a view of the cottage. The country was for the
most part covered with wood, for it was but thinly inhabited except
in the neighborhood of the main roads. Few of the farmers had
cleared more than half their ground; many only a few acres. The
patch, in which the house with its little clump of trees stood nearly
in the center, was of some forty or fifty acres in extent, and though
now rank with weeds, had evidently been carefully cultivated, for
all the stumps had been removed, and the fence round it was of a
stronger and neater character than that which most of the
cultivators deemed sufficient.
Presently he heard the sound of horses' feet in the forest behind
him, and he made his way back to a road which ran along a
hundred yards from the edge of the wood. He reached it before the
horsemen came up, and lay down in the underwood a few yards
back. In a short time two horsemen came along at a walking pace.
"I call this a fool's errand altogether," one of them said in a
grumbling tone. "We don't know that they have headed this way;
and if they have, we might search these woods for a month without
"That's so," the other said; "but Mullens has set his heart on it, and
we must try for another day or two. My idea is that when the
fellow heard what sort of a chap Mullens was, he took the hack
train that night and went up north again."
Vincent heard no more, but it was enough to show him that a sharp
hunt was being kept up for him; and although he had no fear of
being caught in the woods, he was well pleased at the thought that
he would soon be across the water and beyond the reach of his
enemy. He went back again to the edge of the clearing and
resumed his watch. It was just getting dusk, and he was about to
join Dan when he saw a party of twelve men ride out from the
other side of the wood and make toward the house. Filled with a
vague alarm that possibly some one might have caught sight of
him and his follower on the previous day, and might, on being
questioned by the searchers, have given them a clew as to the
direction in which they were going, Vincent hurried to the spot
where he left Dan. The negro jumped up as he approached.
"Me awake long time, sah. Began to wonder where you had got
"Take your stick and come along, Dan, as fast as you can."
Without another word Vincent led the way along the edge of the
wood to the point where the clump of trees at the back of the
house hid it from his view.
"Now, Dan, stoop low and get across to those trees."
Greatly astonished at what was happening, but having implicit
faith in his master, Dan followed without a question.
It was but ten minutes since Vincent had seen the horsemen, but
the darkness had closed in rapidly, and he had little fear of his
approach being seen. He made his way through the trees, and
crept up to the house, and then kept close along it until he reached
the front. There stood the horses, with the bridles thrown over
their neck. The riders were all inside the house.
"Look here, Dan," he whispered, "you keep here perfectly quiet
until I join you again or you hear a pistol-shot. If you do hear a
shot, rush at the horses with your stick and drive them off at full
gallop. Drive them right into the woods if you can and then lie
quiet there till you hear me whistle for you. If you don't hear my
whistle you will know that something has happened to me, and
then you must make your way home as well as you can."
"Oh, Master Vincent," Dan began; but Vincent stopped him.
"It's no use talking, Dan; you must do as I order you. I hope all will
be well; but it must be done anyhow."
"Let me come and load your pistol and fight with you, sah."
"You can do more good by stampeding the horses, Dan. Perhaps,
after all, there will be no trouble."
So saying, leaving Dan with the tears running down his cheeks,
Vincent went to the back of the house and tried the door there. It
was fastened. Then he went to the other side; and here, the light
streaming though the window, which was open, and the sound of
loud voices, showed him the room where the party were. He crept
cautiously up and looked in. Mullens was standing facing Lucy
Kingston; the rest of the men were standing behind him. The girl
was as pale as death, but was quiet and composed.
"Now," Mullens said, "I ask you for the last time. You have
admitted that a man has been here to-day, and that you gave him
food. You say he is not in the house; and as we have searched it
pretty thoroughly, we know that's right enough. You say you don't
know where he is, and that may be true enough in a sense; but I
have asked you whether he is coming back again, and you won't
answer me. I just give you three seconds;" and he held out his arm
with a pistol in it. "One!" As the word "Two" left his lips, a pistol
cracked, and Mullens fell back with a bullet in his forehead.
At the same time Vincent shouted at the top of his voice, "Come
on, lads; wipe 'em out altogether. Don't let one of them escape."
As he spoke he discharged his pistol rapidly into the midst of the
men, who were for the moment too taken by surprise to move, and
every shot took effect upon them. At the same moment there was
a great shouting outside, and the trampling of horses' feet. One or
two of the men hastily returned Vincent's fire, but the rest made a
violent rush to the door. Several fell over the bodies of their
comrades, and Vincent had emptied one of his revolvers and fired
three shots with the second before the last of those able to escape
did so. Five bodies remained on the floor. As they were still seven
to one against him, Vincent ran to the corner of the house,
prepared to shoot them as they came round; but the ruffians were
too scared to think of anything but escape, and they could be heard
running and shouting across the fields.
Vincent ran into the house. He had seen Lucy Kingston fall
prostrate at the same instant as the ruffian facing her. Strung up to
the highest tension, and expecting in another second to be shot, the
crack of Vincent's pistol had brought her down as surely as the
bullet of Mullens would have done. Even in the excitement of
firing, Vincent felt thankful when he saw her fall, and knew that
she was safe from the bullets flying about. When he entered the
room he found the old negress lying beside her, and thought at first
that she had fallen in the fray. He found that she was not only
alive, but unhurt, having, the instant she saw her young mistress
fall, thrown herself upon her to protect her from harm.
"Am dey all gone, sah?" she asked, as Vincent somewhat roughly
pulled her off the girl's body.
"They have all gone, Chloe; but I do not know how soon they may
be back again. Get your mistress round as soon as you can. I am
sure that she has only fainted, for she fell the instant I fired, before
another pistol had gone off."
Leaving the old woman to bring Miss Kingston round, he reloaded
his pistols and went to the door. In a few minutes the sound of
horses galloping was heard.
"Halt, or I fire!" he shouted.
"Don't shoot, sah! Don't shoot! It am me!" and Dan rode up,
holding a second horse by the bridle. "I thought I might as well get
two ob dem, so I jump on de back ob one and get hold ob anoder
bridle while I was waiting to hear your pistol fire. Den de moment
I heard dat I set de oders off, and chased dem to de corner where
de gate was where dey came in at, and along de road for half a
mile; dey so frightened dey not stop for a long time to come. Den I
turn into de wood and went through de trees, so as not to meet dem
fellows, and lifted two of de bars of the fence, and here I am. You
are not hurt, massa?"
"My left arm is broken, I think, Dan; but that is of no consequence.
I have shot five of these fellows--their leader among them--and I
expect three of the others have got a bullet somewhere or other in
them. There was such a crowd round the door that I don't think
one shot missed. It was well I thought of stampeding the horses;
that gave them a greater fright than my pistols. No doubt they
thought that there was a party of our bushwhackers upon them.
Now, Dan, you keep watch, and let me know if you see any signs
of their returning. I think they are too shaken up to want any more
fighting; but as there are seven of them, and they may guess there
are only two or three of us, it is possible they may try again."
"Me don't tink dey try any more, sah. Anyhow, I look out sharp."
So saying, Dan, fastening up one of the horses, rode the other in a
circle round and round the house and little plantation, so that it
would not be possible for any one to cross the clearing without
being seen. Vincent returned to the house, and found Miss
Kingston just recovering consciousness. She sat upon the ground
in a confused way.
"What has happened, nurse?"
"Never mind at present, dearie. Juss you keep yourself quiet, and
drink a little water."
The girl mechanically obeyed. The minute she put down the glass
her eye fell upon Vincent, who was standing near the door.
"Oh! I remember now!" she said, starting up. "Those men were
here and they were going to shoot me. One--two--and then he fired,
and it seemed that I fell dead. Am I not wounded?"
"He never fired at all, Miss Kingston; he will never fire again. I
shot him as he said 'two,' and no doubt the shock of the sudden
shot caused you to faint dead away. You fell the same instant that
"But where are the others?" the girl said with a shudder. "How
imprudent of you to come here! I hoped you had seen them coming
toward the house."
"I did see them, Miss Kingston, and that was the reason I came. I
was afraid they might try rough measures to learn from you where
I was hidden. I arrived at the window just as the scoundrel was
pointing his pistol toward you, and then there was no time to give
myself up, and I had nothing to do for it but to put a bullet through
his head in order to save you. Then I opened fire upon the rest,
and my boy drove off their horses. They were seized with a panic
and bolted, thinking they were surrounded. Of course I kept up my
fire, and there are four of them in the next room besides their
captain. And now, if you please, I will get you, in the first place,
to bind my arm tightly across my chest, for one of their bullets hit
me in the left shoulder, and has, I fancy, broken it."
The girl gave an exclamation of dismay.
Do not be alarmed, Miss Kingston; a broken shoulder is not a very
serious matter, only I would rather it had not happened just at the
present moment; there are more important affairs in hand. The
question is, What is to become of you? It is quite impossible that
you should stay here after what has happened. Those scoundrels
are sure to come back again."
"What am I to do, Chloe?" the girl asked in perplexity. "I am sure
we cannot stay here. We must find our way through the woods to
Nashville, and I must try and get something to do there."
"There is another way, Miss Kingston, if you like to try it," Vincent
said. "Of course it would be toilsome and unpleasant, but I do not
think it would be dangerous, for even if we got caught there would
be no fear of your receiving any injury from the Federal troops.
My proposal is that you and Chloe should go with us. If we get
safely through the Federal lines I will escort you to Georgia and
place you with your friends there."
The girl looked doubtful for a moment, and then she shook her
"I could not think of that, sir. It would be difficult enough for you
to get through the enemy by yourselves It would add terribly to
your danger to have us with you."
"I do not think so," Vincent replied. "Two men would be sure to
be questioned and suspected, but a party like ours would be far less
likely to excite suspicion. Every foot we get south we shall find
ourselves more and more among people who are friendly to us, and
although they might be afraid to give shelter to men, they would
not refuse to take women in. I really think, Miss Kingston, that
this plan is the best. In the first place it would be a dangerous
journey for you through the woods to Nashville and if you fall into
the hands of any of those ruffians who have been here you may
expect no mercy. At Nashville you will have great difficulty in
obtaining employment of any kind and even suppose you went
further north your position as a friendless girl would be a most
painful one. As to your staying here that is plainly out of the
question. I think that there is no time to lose in making a decision.
Those fellows may go to the camp at the bridge, give their account
of the affair, declare they have been attacked by a party of
Confederate sympathizers, and return here with a troop of horse."
"What do you say, Chloe?" Lucy asked.
"I'se ready to go wid you whereber you like, Miss Lucy; but I do
tink dat in times like dis dat a young gal is best wid her own folk.
It may be hard work getting across, but as to danger dar can't he
much more danger than dar has been in stopping along here, so it
seems to me best to do as dis young officer says."
"Very well, then, I will, sir. We will go under your protection, and
will give you as little trouble as we can. We will be ready in five
minutes. Now, Chloe, let us put a few things together. The fewer
the better. Just a small bundle which we can carry in our hands."
In a few minutes they returned to the room, Chloe carrying a large
basket, and looking somewhat ruffled.
"Chloe is a little upset," the girl said, smiling, "because I won't put
my best things on; and the leaving her Sunday gown behind is a
sore trouble to her."
"No wonder, sah," Chloe said, "why dey say dat thar am no pretty
dresses in de 'Federacy, and dat blue gown wid red spots is just as
good as new, and it am downright awful to tink dat dose fellows
will come back and take it."
"Never mind, Chloe," Vincent said, smiling. "No doubt we are
short of pretty dresses in the South, but I dare say we shall be able
to find you something that will be almost as good. But we must
not stand talking. You are sure you have got everything of value,
"I have got my purse," she said, "and Chloe has got some food. I
don't think there is anything else worth taking in the house."
"Very well, we will be off," Vincent said, leading the way to the
A minute later Dan rode past, and Vincent called him and told him
they were going to start.
"Shall we take de horses, sah?"
"No, Dan. We are going to carry out our original plan of crossing
the river in a boat, and I think the horses would be rather in our
way than not. But you had better not leave them here. Take them
to the farther side of the clearing and get them through the fence
into the forest, then strike across as quickly as you can and join us
where we were stopping to-day. Miss Kingston and her servant are
going with us. They cannot stay here after what has taken place."
Dan at once rode off with the two horses, and the others walked
across to the edge of the clearing and waited until he rejoined
"Now, Miss Kingston, you must be our guide at present."
"We must cross the road first," the girl said. "Nearly opposite to
where we are there is a little path through the wood leading
straight down to the river. The boat lies only a short distance from
The path was a narrow one, and it was very dark under the trees.
"Mind how you go," Vincent said as the girl stepped lightly on
ahead. "You might get a heavy fall if you caught your foot on a
She instantly moderated her pace. "I know the path well, but it
was thoughtless of me to walk so fast. I forgot you did not know
it, and if you were to stumble you might hurt your arm terribly.
How does it feel now?"
"It certainly hurts a bit," Vincent replied in a cheerful tone; "but
now it is strapped tightly to me it cannot move much. Please do
not worry about me."
"Ah!" she said, "I cannot forget how you got it--how you attacked
twelve men to save me!"
"Still less can I forget, Miss Kingston, how you, a young girl,
confronted death rather than say a word that would place me in
"That was quite different, Mr. Wingfield. My own honor was
pledged not to betray you, who had trusted me."
"Well, we will cry quits for the present, Miss Kingston; or, rather,
we will be content to remain for the present in each other's debt."
A quarter of an hour's walking brought them to the river.
"Now," Lucy said, "we must make our way about ten yards through
these bushes to the right."
With some difficulty they passed through the thick screen of
bushes, the girl still leading the way.
"Here it is," she said; "I have my hand upon it." Vincent was soon
beside her, and the negroes quickly joined them.
"There are no oars in the boat," Vincent said, feeling along the
"Oh! I forgot! They are stowed away behind the bushes on the
right; they were taken out, so that if the Yankees found the boat it
would be of no use to them."
Dan made his way through the bushes, and soon found the oars.
Then uniting their strength they pushed the boat through the high
rushes that screened it from the river.
"It is afloat," Vincent said. "Now, Dan, take your place in the
I will row, Mr. Wingfield. I am a very good hand at it. So please
take your seat with Chloe in the stern."
"Dan can take one oar, anyhow," Vincent replied; "but I will let
you row instead of me. I am afraid I should make a poor hand of it
with only one arm."
The boat pushed quietly out. The river was about a hundred yards
wide at this point. They had taken but a few strokes when Vincent
"You must row hard, Miss Kingston, or we shall have to swim for
it. The water is coming through the seams fast."
The girl and Dan exerted themselves to the utmost; but, short as
was the passage, the boat was full almost to the gunwale before
they reached the opposite bank, the heat of the sun having caused
the planks to open during the months it had been lying ashore.
"This is a wet beginning," Lucy Kingston said laugh as she tried to
wring the water out of the lower part of her dress. "Here, Chloe;
you wring me and I will wring you."
"Now, Dan, get hold of that head-rope," Vincent said; "haul her up
little by little as the water runs out over the stern."
"I should not trouble about the boat, Mr. Wingfield; it is not likely
we shall ever want it again."
"I was not thinking of the boat; I was thinking of ourselves. If it
should happen to be noticed at the next bridge as it drifted down, it
would at once suggest to any one on the lookout for us that we had
crossed the river; whereas, if we get it among the bushes here, they
will believe that we are hidden in the woods or have headed back
to the north, and we shall be a long way across the line, I hope,
before they give up searching for us in the woods on the other
"Yes; I didn't think of that. We will help you with the rope."
The boat was very heavy, now that it was full of water. Inch by
inch it was pulled up, until the water was all out except near the
stern. Dan and Vincent then turned it bottom upward, and it was
soon hauled up among the bushes.
"Now, Miss Kingston, which do you think is our best course? I
know nothing whatever of the geography here."
"The next town is Mount Pleasant; that is where the Williamsport
road passes the railway. If we keep south we shall strike the
railway, and that will take us to Mount Pleasant. After that the
road goes on to Florence, on the Tennessee River. The only place
that I know of on the road is Lawrenceburg. That is about forty
miles from here, and I have heard that the Yankees are on the line
from there right and left. I believe our troops are at Florence; but I
am not sure about that, because both parties are constantly shifting
their position, and I hear very little, as you may suppose, of what is
being done. Anyhow, I think we cannot do better than go on until
we strike the railway, keep along by that till we get within a short
distance of Mount Pleasant, and then cross it. After that we can
decide whether we will travel by the road or keep on through the
woods. But we cannot find our way through the woods at night;
we should lose ourselves before we had gone twenty yards."
"I am afraid we should, Miss Kingston."
"Please call me Lucy," the girl interrupted. "I am never called
anything else, and I am sure this is not a time for ceremony."
"I think that it will be better; and will you please call me Vin. It is
much shorter and pleasanter using our first names; and as we must
pass for brother and sister if we get among the Yankees, it is better
to get accustomed to it. I quite agree with you that it will be too
dark to find our way through the woods unless we can discover a
"Dan and I will see if we can find one. If we can, I think it will be
better to go on a little way at any rate, so as to get our feet warm
and let our clothes dry a little."
"They will not dry to-night," Lucy said. "It is so damp in the
woods that even if our clothes were dry now they would be wet
"I did not think of that. Yes, in that case I do not see that we
should gain anything by going farther; we will push on for two or
three hundred yards, if we can, and then we can light a fire without
there being any chance of it being seen from the other side."
"That would be comfortable, Mr.--I mean Vin," the girl agreed.
"That is, if you are quite sure that it would be safe. I would rather
be wet all night than that we should run any risks."
"I am sure if we can get a couple of hundred yards into this thick
wood the fire would not be seen through it," Vincent said; "of
course I do not mean to make a great bonfire which would light up
For half an hour they forced their way through the bushes, and then
Vincent said he was sure that they had come far enough. Finding a
small open space, Dan, and Lucy, and the negress set to work
collecting leaves and dry sticks. Vincent had still in his pocket the
newspaper he had bought in the streets of Nashville, and he always
carried lights. A piece of the paper was crumpled up and lighted, a
few of the driest leaves they could find dropped upon it, then a few
twigs, until at last a good fire was burning.
"I think that is enough for the present," Vincent said. "We will keep
on adding wood as fast as it burns down, so as to get a great pile of
embers, and keep two or three good big logs burning all night."
He then gave directions to Dan, who out a long stick and fastened
it to two saplings, one of which grew just in front of the fire. Then
he set to work and cut off branches, and laid them sloping against
it, and soon had an arbor constructed of sufficient thickness to
keep off the night dews.
"I think you will be snug in there," Vincent said when he had
finished. "The heat of the fire will keep you dry and warm, and if
you lie with your heads the other way I think your things will he
dry by the morning. Dan and I will lie down by the other side of
the fire. We are both accustomed to sleep in the open air, and
have done so for months."
"Thank you very much," she said. "Our things are drying already,
and I am as warm as a toast; but, indeed, you need not trouble
about us. We brought these warm shawls with us on purpose for
night-work in the forest. Now, I think we will try the contents of
the basket Dan has been carrying."
The basket, which was a good-sized one, was opened. Chloe had
before starting put all the provisions in the house into it, and it
contained three loaves, five or six pounds of bacon, a canister of
tea and loaf-sugar, a small kettle, and two pint mugs, besides a
number of odds and ends. The kettle Dan had, by Chloe's
direction, filled with water before leaving the river, and this was
soon placed among the glowing embers.
"But you have brought no teapot, Chloe."
"Dar was not no room for it, Miss Lucy. We can make tea berry
well in de kettle."
"So we can. I forgot that. We shall do capitally."
The kettle was not long in boiling. Chloe produced some spoons
and knives and forks from the basket.
"Spoons and forks are luxuries, Chloe," Vincent said laughing.
"We could have managed without them."
"Yes, sah; but me not going to leave massa's silver for dose
villains to find."
Lucy laughed. "At any rate, Chloe, we can turn the silver into
money if we run short. Now the kettle is boiling."
It was taken off the fire, and Lucy poured some tea into it from the
canister, and then proceeded to cut up the bread. A number of
slices of bacon had already been cut off, and a stick thrust through
them, and Dan, who was squatted at the other side of the fire
holding it over the flames, now pronounced them to be ready. The
bread served as plates, and the party were soon engaged upon their
meal, laughing and talking over it as if it had been an ordinary
picnic in the woods, though at times Vincent's face contracted
from the sharp twitching of pain in his shoulder. Vincent and Lucy
first drank their tea, and the mugs were then handed to Dan and
"This is great fun," Lucy said. "If it goes on like it all through our
journey we shall have no need to grumble. Shall we Chloe?"
"If you don't grumble, Miss Lucy, you may be quite sure dat Chloe
will not. But we hab not begun our journey at present; and I spec
dat we shall find it pretty hard work before we get to de end. But
neber mind dat; anyting is better dan being all by ourselves in dat
house. Terrible sponsibility dat."
"It was lonely," the girl said, "and I am glad we are away from it
whatever happens. What a day this has been. Who could have
dreamed when I got up in the morning that all this would take
place before night. It seems almost like a dream, and I can hardly
believe"--and here she stopped with a little shiver as she thought of
the scene she had passed though with the band of bushwhackers.
"I would not think anything at all about it," Vincent said. "And
now I should recommend your turning in, and getting to sleep as
soon as you can. We will be off at daybreak, and it is just twelve
Five minutes later Lucy and her old nurse were snugly ensconced
in their little bower, while Vincent and Dan stretched themselves
at full length on the other side of the fire. In spite of the pain in
his shoulder Vincent dozed off occasionally, butt he was heartily
glad when he saw the first gleam of light in the sky. He woke Dan.
"Dan, do you take the kettle down to the river and fill it. We had
better have some breakfast before we make our start. If you can't
find your way back, whistle and I will answer you."
Dan, however, had no occasion to give the signal. It took him
little more than five minutes to traverse the distance that had
occupied them half an hour in the thick darkness, and Vincent was
quite surprised when he reappeared again with the kettle. Not
until it was boiling, and the bacon was ready, did Vincent raise his
voice and call Lucy and the nurse.
"This is reversing the order of things altogether," the girl said as
she came out and saw breakfast already prepared. "I shall not
allow it another time, I can tell you."
"We are old campaigners, you see," Vincent said, "and accustomed
to early movements. Now please let us waste no time, as the
sooner we are off the better."
In a quarter of an hour breakfast was eaten and the basket packed,
and they were on their way. Now the bright, glowing light in the
east was sufficient guide to them as to the direction they should
take, and setting their face to the south they started through the
forest. In a quarter of an hour they came upon a little stream
running through the wood, and here Vincent suggested that Lucy
might like a wash, a suggestion which was gratefully accepted. He
and Dan went a short distance down the streamlet, and Vincent
bathed his face and head.
"Dan, I will get you to undo this bandage and get off my coat; then
I will make a pad of my handkerchief and dip it in the water and
you can lay it on my shoulder, and then help me on again with my
coat. My arm is getting horribly painful."
Vincent's right arm was accordingly drawn through the sleeve and
the coat turned down so as to enable Dan to lay the wet pad on the
"It has not bled much," Vincent said, looking down at it.
"No, sah, not much blood on de shirt."
"Pull the coat down as far as the elbow, Dan, and bathe it for a
Using his cap as a bailer, Dan bathed the arm for ten minutes, then
the wet pad was placed in position, and with some difficulty the
coat got on again. The arm was then bandaged across the chest,
and they returned to the women, who were beginning to wonder at
CHAPTER XIII. LAID UP.
"You must see a surgeon whatever the risk," Lucy said when the
others joined them, for now that it was light she could see by the
paleness of Vincent's face, and the drawn expression of the mouth,
how much he had suffered.
"You have made so light of your wound that we have not thought
of it half as much as we ought to do, and you must have thought
me terribly heartless to be laughing and talking when you were in
such pain. But it will never do to go on like this; it is quite
impossible for you to be traveling so far without having your
shoulder properly attended to."
"I should certainly be glad to have it looked to," Vincent replied.
"I don't know whether the bullet's there or if it has made its way
out, and if that could be seen to, and some splints or something of
that sort put on to keep things in their right place, no doubt I
should be easier; but I don't see how it is to be managed. At any
rate, for the present we must go on, and I would much rather that
you said nothing about it. There it is, and fretting over it won't do
it any good, while if you talk of other things I may forget it
In two hours they came upon the railway, whose course lay
diagonally across that they were taking. They followed it until
they caught sight of the houses of Mount Pleasant, some two miles
away, and then crossed it. After walking some distance farther
they came upon a small clearing with a log-hut, containing
apparently three or four rooms, in the center.
"We had better skirt round this," Vincent suggested.
"No," Lucy said in a determined voice. "I have made up my mind I
would go to the first place we came to and see whether anything
can be done for you. I can see you are in such pain you can hardly
walk, and it will be quite impossible for you to go much further.
They are sure to be Confederates at heart here, and even if they
will not take us in, there is no fear of their betraying us; at any rate
we must risk it."
Vincent began to remonstrate, but without paying any attention to
him the girl left the shelter of the trees and walked straight toward
the house. The others followed her. Vincent had opposed her
suggestion, but he had for some time acknowledged to himself that
he could not go much further. He had been trying to think what
had best be done, and had concluded that it would be safest to
arrange with some farmer to board Lucy and her nurse for a time,
while he himself with Dan went a bit further; and then, if they
could get no one to take them in, would camp up in the woods and
rest. He decided that in a day or two if no improvement took place
in his wound he would give himself up to the Federals at Mount
Pleasant, as he would there be able to get his wound attended to.
"I don't think there is any one in the house," Lucy said, looking
back over her shoulder; "there is no smoke coming from the
chimney, and the shutters are closed, and besides the whole place
Upon reaching the door of the house it was evident that it had been
deserted. Lucy had now assumed the command.
"Dan," she said, "there is no shutter to the window of that upper
room. You must manage to climb up there and get in at that
window, and then open the door to us."
"All right, missie, me manage dat," Dan said cheerfully. Looking
about he soon found a long pole which would answer his purpose,
placed the end of this against the window, and climbed up. It was
not more than twelve feet above the ground. He broke one of the
windows, and inserting his hand undid the fastening and climbed
in at the window. A minute later they heard a grating sound, and
then the lock shot back under the application of his knife, and the
door swung open.
"That will do nicely," Lucy said, entering. "We will take
possession. If the owners happen to come back we can pay them
for the use of the place."
The furniture had been removed with the exception of a few of the
heavy articles, and Chloe and Lucy at once set to work, and with
bunches of long grass swept out one of the rooms. Dan cut a
quantity of grass and piled it upon an old bedstead that stood in the
corner, and Lucy smoothed it down.
"Now, sir," she said peremptorily to Vincent, "you will lie down
and keep yourself quiet, but first of all I will cut your coat off."
One of the table-knives soon effected the work, and the coat was
rolled up as a pillow. Dan removed his boots, and Vincent, who
was now beyond even remonstrating, laid himself down on his
"Now, Chloe," Miss Kingston said when they had left Vincent's
room, "I will leave him to your care. I am sure that you must be
thoroughly tired, for I don't suppose you have walked so many
miles since you were a girl."
"I is tired, missie; but I am ready to do anyting you want."
"I only want you to attend to him, Chloe. First of all you had
better make some tea. You know what is a good thing to give for a
fever, and if you can find anything in the garden to make a drink of
that sort, do; but I hope he will doze off for some time. When you
have done, you had better get this place tidy a little; it is in a
terrible litter. Evidently no one has been in since they moved out."
The room, indeed, was strewed with litter of all sorts, rubbish not
worth taking away, old newspapers, and odds and ends of every
description. Lucy looked about among these for some time, and
with an exclamation of satisfaction at last picked up two crumpled
envelopes. They were both addressed "William Jenkins, Woodford,
near Mount Pleasant."
"That is just what I wanted," she said.
"What am you going to do, Miss Lucy?"
"I am going to Mount Pleasant," she said.
"Lor' a marcy, dearie, you are not going to walk that distance! You
must have walked twelves miles already."
"I should if it were twice as far, Chloe. There are some things we
must get. Don't look alarmed, I shall take Dan with me. Now, let
me see. In the first place there are lemons for making drink and
linseed for poultices, some meat for making broth, and some flour,
and other things for ourselves; we may have to stay here for some
time. Tell me just what you want and I will get it."
Chloe made out a list of necessaries.
"I sha'n't be gone long," the girl said. "If he asks after me or Dan,
make out we are looking about the place to see what is useful.
Don't let him know I have gone to Mount Pleasant, it might worry
Dan at once agreed to accompany the girl to Mount Pleasant when
he heard that she was going to get things for his master.
Looking about he found an old basket among the litter, and they
started without delay by the one road from the clearing, which led,
they had no doubt, to the town. It was about two miles distant, and
was really but a large village. A few Federal soldiers from the
camp hard by were lounging about the streets but these paid no
attention to them. Lucy soon made her purchases, and then went
to the house that had been pointed out to her as being inhabited by
the doctor who attended to the needs of the people of Mount
Pleasant and the surrounding district. Fortunately he was at home.
Lucy looked at him closely as he entered the room and took his
seat. He was a middle-aged man with a shrewd face, and she at
once felt that she might have confidence in it.
"Doctor," she said, "I want you to come out to see some one who is
"What is the matter with him? Or is it him or her?"
"It is--it's--" and Lucy hesitated, "a hurt he has got."
"A wound, I suppose?" the doctor said quietly. "You may as well
tell me at once, as for me to find out when I get there, then I can
take whatever is required with me."
"Yes, sir. It is a wound," Lucy said. "His shoulder is broken, I
believe, by a pistol bullet."
"Umph!" the doctor said. "It might have been worse. Do not
hesitate to tell me all about it, young lady. I have had a vast
number of cases on hand since these troubles began. By the way, I
do not know your face, and I thought I knew every one within
fifteen miles around."
"I come from the other side of the Duck river. But at present he is
lying at a place called Woodford, but two miles from here."
"Oh, yes! I know it. But I thought it was empty. Let me see, a man
named Jenkins lived there. He was killed at the beginning of the
troubles in a fight near Murfreesboro. His widow moved in here;
and she has married again and gone five miles on the other side. I
know she was trying to sell the old place."
"We have not purchased it, sir; we have just squatted there. My
friend was taken so bad that we could go no further. We were
trying, doctor, to make our way down south."
"Your friend, whoever he is, did a very foolish thing to bring a
young lady like yourself on such a long journey. You are not a pair
of runaway lovers, are you?"
"No, indeed," Lucy said, flushing scarlet; "we have no idea of such
a thing. I was living alone, and the house was attacked by
bushwhackers, the band of a villain named Mullens."
"Oh! I saw all about that in the Nashville paper this morning.
They were attacked by a band of Confederate plunderers, it said."
"They were attacked by one man," the girl replied. "They were on
the point of murdering me when he arrived. He shot Mullens and
four of his band and the rest made off, but he got this wound. And
as I knew the villains would return again and burn the house and
kill me, I and my old nurse determined to go southward to join my
friends in Georgia."
"Well, you can tell me more about it as we go," the doctor said. "I
will order my buggy round to the door, and drive you back. I will
take my instruments and things with me. It is no business of mine
whether a sick man is a Confederate or a Federal; all my business
is to heal them."
"Thank you very much, doctor. While the horse is being put in I
will go down and tell the negro boy with me to go straight on with
a basket of things I have been buying."
"Where is he now?" the doctor asked.
"I think he is sitting down outside the door, sir."
"Then you needn't go down," the doctor said. "He can jump up
behind and go with us. He will get there all the quicker."
In five minutes they were driving down the village, with Dan in the
back seat. On the way the doctor obtained from Lucy a more
detailed account of their adventures.
"So he is one of those Confederate officers who broke prison at
Elmira," he said. "I saw yesterday that one of his companions was
"Was he, sir? How was that?"
"It seems that he had made his way down to Washington, and was
staying at one of the hotels there as a Mr. James of Baltimore. As
he was going through the street he was suddenly attacked by a
negro, who assaulted him with such fury that he would have killed
him had he not been dragged off by passers-by. The black would
have been very roughly treated, but he denounced the man he had
attacked as one of the Confederate officers who had escaped from
the prison. It seems that the negro had been a slave of his who had
been barbarously treated, and finally succeeded in making his
escape and reaching England, after which he went to Canada; and
now that it is safe for an escaped slave to live in the Northern
States without fear of arrest or ill-treatment he had come down to
Washington with the intention of engaging as a teamster with one
of the Northern armies, in the hope when he made his way to
Richmond of being able to gain some news of his wife, whom his
master had sold before he ran away from him."
"It served the man right!" Lucy said indignantly. "It's a good thing
that the slaves should turn the tables sometimes upon masters who
"You don't think my patient would ill-treat his slaves?" the doctor
asked with a little smile.
"I am sure he wouldn't," the girl said indignantly. "Why, the boy
behind you is one of his slaves, and I am sure be would give his
life for his master."
Dan had overheard the doctor's story, and now exclaimed:
"No, sah. Massa Vincent de kindest of masters. If all like him, do
slaves everywhere contented and happy. What was de name of dat man,
sah, you was speaking of?"
"His name was Jackson," the doctor answered.
"I tought so," Dan exclaimed in excitement. "Massa never
mentioned de names of de two officers who got out wid him, and it
war too dark for me to see their faces, but dat story made me tink
it must be him. Berry bad man that; he libs close to us, and Massa
Vincent one day pretty nigh kill him because he beat dat bery man
who has catched him now on de street of Washington. When dat
man sell him wife Massa Vincent buy her so as to prevent her
falling into bad hands. She safe now wid his mother at de
Orangery--dat's the name of her plantation."
"My patient must be quite an interesting fellow, young lady," the
doctor said, with a rather slight twinkle of his eye. "A very
knight-errant. But there is the house now; we shall soon see all
Taking with him the case of instruments and medicines he had
brought, the doctor entered Vincent's room. Lucy entered first;
and although surprised to see a stranger with her, Vincent saw by
her face that there was no cause for alarm.
"I have brought you a doctor," she said. "You could not go on as
you were, you know. So Dan and I have been to fetch one."
The doctor now advanced and took Vincent's hand.
"Feverish," he said, looking at his cheeks, which were now flushed.
"You have been doing too much, I fancy. Now let us look at this
wound of yours. Has your servant got any warm water?" he asked
Lucy left the room, and returned in a minute with a kettleful of
warm water and a basin, which was among the purchases she had
made at Mount Pleasant.
"That is right," the doctor said, taking it from her. "Now we will
cut open the shirt sleeve. I think, young lady, you had better leave
us, unless you are accustomed to the sight of wounds."
"I am not accustomed to them, sir; but as thousands of women
have been nursing the wounded in the hospitals, I suppose I can do
Taking a knife from the case, the doctor cut open the shirt from the
neck to the elbow. The shoulder was terribly swollen and
inflamed, and a little exclamation of pain broke from Lucy.
"That is the effect of walking and inattention," the doctor said. "If
I could have taken him in hand within an hour of his being hit the
matter would have been simple enough; but I cannot search for the
ball, or in fact do anything, till we have reduced the swelling. You
must put warm poultices on every half-hour, and by to-morrow I
hope the inflammation will have subsided, and I can then see
about the ball. It evidently is somewhere there still, for there is no
sign of its having made its exit anywhere. In the meantime you
must give him two tablespoonfuls of this cooling draught every
two hours, and to-night give him this sleeping draught. I will be
over to-morrow morning to see him. Do not be uneasy about him;
the wound itself is not serious, and when we have got rid of the
fever and inflammation I have no doubt we shall pull him round
"I know the wound is nothing," Vincent said; "I have told Miss
Kingston so all along. It is nothing at all to one I got at the first
battle of Bull Run, where I had three ribs badly broken by a shell.
I was laid up a long time over that business. Now I hope in a week
I shall he fit to travel."
The doctor shook his head. "Not as soon as that. Still we will hope
it may not be long. Now all you have to do is to lie quiet and not
worry, and to get to sleep as quick as you can. You must not let
your patient talk, Miss Kingston. It will be satisfactory to you, no
doubt," he went on turning to Vincent, "to know that there is no
fear whatever of your being disturbed here. The road leads
nowhere, and is entirely out of the way of traffic. I should say you
might be here six months without even a chance of a visitor.
Every one knows the house is shut up, and as you have no neighbor
within half a mile no one is likely to call in. Even if any one did
by accident come here you would be in no danger; we are all one
way of thinking about here."
"Shall we make some broth for him?" Lucy asked after they had
left the room.
"No; he had best take nothing whatever during the next
twenty-four hours except his medicine and cooling drinks. The
great thing is to get down the fever. We can soon build him up
By nightfall the exertions of Dan, Lucy, and Chloe had made the
house tidy. Beds of rushes and grass had been made in the room
upstairs for the women, and Dan had no occasion for one for
himself, as he was going to stop up with his master. He, however,
brought a bundle of rushes into the kitchen, and when it became
dark threw himself down upon them for a few hours' sleep, Lucy
and her old nurse taking their place in Vincent's room, and
promising to rouse Dan at twelve o'clock.
During the easy part of the night Vincent was restless and uneasy,
but toward morning he became more quiet and dozed off, and had